I can’t help but think that I’m partially to blame for the recent reunion between the Chicago Cubs and Kevin Gregg.
On Apr. 12, I wrote an article titled “Despite Win, Chicago Cubs’ Closer Concerns Remain with Kyuji Fujikawa.” Here was the final paragraph from that submission:
For what it’s worth, Kevin Gregg was released less than two weeks ago. Maybe management should call—no? You’re right. A decade worth of ninth-inning incompetence can make a fan suggest insane things.
Maybe the sarcasm didn’t come across on the internet. Or maybe Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are like those readers who read halfway into the sentence before they assume that they know the rest of the opinion. They either quit reading at the em-dash or they assumed that everything after the em-dash had nothing to do with Gregg.
Okay. All sarcasm aside, let’s get back to seriousness.
On Apr. 14, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Cubs had agreed to a minor league contract with Gregg. Less than two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers released the 34-year-old reliever. In 11 appearances this spring, Gregg had a 0.82 ERA with a 0.27 WHIP.
This news came on the same day that Shawn Camp blew his first save opportunity of 2013. In 1.2 innings pitched, Camp allowed four earned runs en route to a 10-7 win for the San Francisco Giants. He allowed the go-ahead run on a balk. That was the third blown save since Apr. 6, each one coming from a different pitcher.
Many Cubs fans remember Gregg from 2009. As a member of the Cubs, Gregg converted on 23 of his 30 save opportunities. He had a 4.72 ERA with a 1.31 WHIP. That ERA is about twice as much as a good closer should have.
It’s only a minor league deal. That said, I don’t know why management wants to bring Gregg anywhere near the 25-man roster. He’s just stealing innings from other prospects. More importantly, it makes them look directionless and desperate. Why go with something that didn’t work the first time?
If Gregg pitches well in the minors, does he get called up? Talk about strange.